Satya is probably the best mob movie ever made in India and in my humble, relatively uneducated opinion, one of the best mob movies ever made in the world, right up there with the Corleone family saga . It isn't so much about the gangster side of the story, which happened to be the profession of our lead characters, but the human relations depicted in the movie which really mesmerised me. More than a crime-saga it is a story about friendship, love, betrayal, sacrifice, duty, politics and many other themes of human relations which lifted this movie several notches above any regular crime-drama and put it into a pedestal along with the great movies of modern times. It is Ram Gopal Verma and Manoj Bhiku Bajpei at their best.
Speaking of Manoj Bajpei, in my humble opinion, his performance in Satya is the best performance by any actor in Bollywood during past 20 years. Right from his introduction scene, where he picks up his mobile to answer a call from one of his goons, to the scene where he is shot dead by Bhau , you can feel the intensity in his portrayal of Bhiku Mhatre. Like all great actors, more than the words, it is his eyes and mannerisms which do the talking. It is the kind of performance which you can not describe in a blog post, you just have to see it to believe it. He brought the character of Bhiku Mhatre alive on screen in a way I don't think any other Bollywood actor has the talent to do.
I recall he had some really good performances post Satya as well. His portrayal of a psychopath in Kaun and an honest police officer in Shool were great too, even though it did not bring him that much acclaim. Post Shool however, he does not seem to have done anything of substance. A simple search on IMDB tells me roles in Zubeida, Road, Pinjar and some other very forgettable movies. It is a pity indeed that an actor of this amazing caliber has not got the kind of roles he deserves, but this really is a problem with Bollywood , which is nothing more than a glorified crap-machine churning out garbage day-in and day-out having no place for fine actors dedicated to their craft.